Ever-green presenter Terry Wogan has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. He is the 28th presenter currently employed by the BBC to be awarded the status.
"They cost a fortune to maintain, but ruinous ancients are very important to us", explained Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC. "If we don't keep investing in our national treasures, they could easily fall down. Especially Oz Clarke."
UNESCO has 10 criteria for nominating decrepit old heaps for international recognition. "David Attenborough was our first success story", enthused Thompson. "We identified him as an 'outstanding example of human interaction with the environment', and a video of him cuddling a gorilla clinched it."
"Capturing these relics on film is important, so we can show them over and over again to future generations. We wouldn't be able to recreate the gorilla moment these days, take Attenborough somewhere humid and the moths would rip him to bits. That's why we're currently preserving him in the Antarctic, we don't want him falling into disrepair like Bill Oddie."
Stephen Fry, Bruce Forsythe and Wogan himself were recognised as early examples of very settled humans. "No-one is quite sure when they were first discovered, but it does feel like they've been around forever", admitted Thompson. "We've got records of some of them performing in black and white."
The BBC is justly proud of its record on maintaining crumbling follies. "We've got a team of preservation experts on hand to keep them in top-notch condition", claimed Thompson. "We keep most of them well lubricated with cash so we can wheel them into the limelight at a moment's notice. Some of the more fragile ones are only brought out occasionally, the thatch on Patrick Moore is so thin you can see the sky at night." He's not overly concerned with them covering new ground. "They say history repeats itself, and I'm keen to continue that tradition. Particularly in the daytime on BBC2."
The BBC has been criticised in the past for not preserving enough female presenters. "We have plans for Fiona Bruce and we've spent a lot of time keeping Julia Bradbury waterproofed", Thompson points out. "It's not from a lack of trying, we've nominated Anne Robinson on a number of occasions. But we couldn't agree with UNESCO which parts were the original structure."
Hat-tip to Danny Vet